During my childhood in rural Texas I developed a lifelong fascination with the interconnectedness between organisms in ecosystems, the visual details and behaviors of organisms, and the ways that studying organisms in ecosystems could lend a greater understanding of artistic processes, human interactions, political and social theory. Due in part to this fascination, my research interests include informal learning with an emphasis on art museum/gallery contexts, curriculum theory and pedagogy, art as a research practice, modern and contemporary art historical research, and implications of social, visual, and media culture on art education.
I began my professional career as a middle school art teacher in Denton, Texas. I have a total of five years of K-12 art teaching experience. While pursuing my Master's degree, I engaged in service learning experiences with arts and community organizations including the Greater Denton Arts Council, Denton County Federation of Families, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and internships with art museums including the Dallas Museum of Art. Following the successful completion of my Master's degree, I served as curator of education at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts where I developed, among other programs, three art/science project-based programs in collaboration with the Upper Colorado River Authority funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant. While pursuing my PhD in Art Education at Penn State University between 2011-2015 I served as the Penn State Zoller Gallery Director where I facilitated the exhibition of Penn State BFA, MFA, faculty and alumni works. I also worked as a graduate teaching assistant & instructor of record for Art & Art Education courses as well as serving as the editorial assistant for the International Journal of Education & the Arts. Since August 2015 I have served as assistant professor of Art Education at Youngstown State University.
When I am not in the office, I enjoy visiting museums, hiking, gardening, and cooking with my family. I enjoy taking pictures of people taking pictures of artworks in museums. I love both small and large adventures while alone or with friends and family. As the child of a historian, I appreciate oral history and the cultural and emotional value of storytelling. I also create collaborative works of art with my family and friends when time and circumstances are permitting. I am appreciative of the company of my faithful grading companion Raku, our family cat.